Lunchtime Discussion: The Points Placebo

I’ll put it simply, points are annoying. I don’t mean Achievement points on the 360 (I kinda like them, but don’t really care), I mean Microsoft Points and Nintendo Points. Those irritating little things that act as a proxy between content and real money. They really are quite annoying for a couple of reasons. Firstly I want to know how much content I’m buying costs in real money, not pretend money. So I have to fire up a converter website – just Google Microsoft Points Converter – and I’ll find out roughly how much something is worth. Of course that’s not always right because I didn’t necessarily buy the points at the price the converter lists. Maybe I got them from Microsoft which means I can buy a different amount than converters are using. Maybe I got a special offer or something meaning I got the points cheap or free. I can’t possibly keep track of all this so I have no idea how much of my money content is actually worth, only a rough estimate. Frustrating.

The other real annoyance I have is that you have to purchase preset amounts. Now I’m informed that on PSN if you buy something above £5 you can just pay the amount, but you have to buy at least £5 of PSN credit. That’s fine by me really, it’s probably just to cover the credit card charges. However Microsoft and Nintendo will only sell you points for there stores in the amounts they set, so I can’t buy exactly enough points to get the newest game or bit of DLC. This means there’s always left over credit hanging out in the bottom of your account. I don’t know why, but this just really annoys me.

Of course the reasons why are pretty obvious. Firstly they can easily maintain global pricing, they just have to set the price of points in a country rather than do a conversion per game. Secondly it really does start to make you forget that you’re spending real money. Not all the time, but particularly those times where you didn’t have to top up to buy something.


That’s my thoughts on the matter, but what do you think? Does it irritate you as much it obviously does me? Should everything just be charged in real money? Or do you support points?